Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • University Graduate
Are you interested in becoming a researcher in accounting and auditing? Do you want to conduct research on how the quality of financial statement audits can be improved? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


Job description

Audit quality is important for the reliability of financial statements and, ultimately, the stability of financial markets. Audits are the product of professionals, and there is a large stream of academic research that examines factors that influence the quality of the work auditors perform, examining their decisions, judgments and behavior. We now seek PhD candidates with an interest in the auditing profession and a strong motivation to examine ways in which audit quality can be improved using predominantly behavioral theory and methods. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) regulation, organizational climate, audit team collaboration, and interactions with audit committees. The exact PhD topic will be defined during the first six months in collaboration with the selected candidate.

The PhD candidate will receive intensive supervision by leading researchers in the field of auditing and accounting. We offer several opportunities to follow PhD courses held locally (e.g., ABRI), nationally (e.g., Limperg Institute) and internationally (e.g., EIASM EDEN doctoral seminars). We offer opportunities to attend conferences, to meet other international researchers and to participate in high-quality discussion groups in support of writing papers for publication. Many of our PhD candidates spend some time abroad during their doctoral education, which is facilitated by our outstanding network with international scholars in the fields of accounting and auditing. The prospects for the school’s doctoral graduates on the labour market are excellent.

The PhD position is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Auditing Research (FAR) in The Netherlands and the Amsterdam Research Center of Accounting (ARCA) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This collaboration with the FAR will offer the PhD candidate unique access to Dutch auditing firms to conduct experiments and/or surveys, and/or collect archival data.

Your duties
The PhD candidate will 
  • conduct independent research under the supervision of a (team of) research-active professor(s)
  • incorporate the findings of his or her research in a doctoral dissertation; comprising three academic papers that should be publishable in top-level academic journals
  • follow a customized training programme worth 30 ECTS
  • be modestly involved in teaching and BSc/MSc thesis supervision activities at the School of Business and Economics


  • inherent interest in the auditing profession
  • strong motivation to do high-quality academic research in the area of accounting/auditing
  • ability to combine creative and analytical thinking
  • ability to collaborate in groups as well as carry out work independently
  • proficient in written and spoken English (proficiency in Dutch is a plus, but not a necessity assuming you are willing to learn Dutch)
  • academic writing skills
  • Master of Science degree, preferably in Accounting, but other backgrounds will also be considered
  • candidates with a Research MSc (e.g. MPhil or MRes) will be given preference
In addition, GMAT/GRE test results are required from the applicants with a master degree from a university outside the Netherlands. TOEFL/IELTS test results (for non-Dutch citizens who are not native speakers of English, and for whom the language of BSc/MSc instruction was not English).

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts € 2.325,- per month during the first year and increases to € 2.972,- per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 4,200 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 500 people.

About the department
The Department of Accounting is a medium sized group of around 40 academics (26 fte). We are active in areas like auditing, bookkeeping, financial accounting, management accounting, management control, regulation, compliance, tax, and corporate law. We teach in all SBE bachelor programmes as well as in the master programmes Business Administration and Accounting and Control. Our research is concentrated in the Amsterdam Research Center in Accounting (ARCA). In ARCA, we conduct high quality fundamental research as well as applied research. We aim to publish our results in premier, peer-reviewed international journals. We also reach out to the business community in communicating our research findings in executive programmes and in professional journals.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload the following documents per e-mail before June 30, 2020.
  • motivation letter
  • an initial study proposal for the PhD project (max two pages)
  • your CV
  • an academic paper (e.g., your MSc thesis)
  • copies of the academic transcripts and diplomas (certified) from your MSc 
  • a GMAT or a GRE general test result (for applicants with a master diploma from a university outside the Netherlands). 
  • TOEFL/IELTS test results (for non-Dutch citizens who are not native speakers of English, and for whom the language of instruction was not English)
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Anna Gold
Position: Professor

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